Sunday, May 20, 2012

Timeless Beauties- Both Fictional, and Factual.

Fact, or Fiction, still a feast for the eyes.
"Who would win in a fight, between...." No, let's not do that.(Although it *would* be interesting theorycrafting, would it not?)

As I sit here, pondering the eventuality of Pirate 101, images continually "sail by" in my mind's eye. Sure, by now, we've all see the Official trailer, (some of us more than others), and many of us have probably longingly watched the ships scroll by, knowing there *has* to be more. Just has to. If KingsIsle ever decided to go into Commercial Fishing, I know I'd probably be hooked, right off the bat. Just fry me up, and serve me with tartar sauce and a basket of chips.

Anyhoo, back to the beauty of ships of sail. Of course, no Piratey-themed blog would do without a smattering of references to the mega-popular film franchise based on an amusement park ride.

The Black Pearl. No introductions needed, I'm guessing.  Did you know the ship's name was originally "Wicked Wench"? And that a  black pearl earring, was traditionally for survivors of a sinking ship? Who knew? Sadly, this revenant of an undead ship has no historical base, other than being the Kardashian of Ships."Famous for being famous".

The Flying Dutchman Oh, now here we go, a ship with some lore to it! No, we're not talking Spongebob, here, geesh. Going back to 17th-18th Century folktales, This Bad Boy is a doomed eternal wanderer of the seas, and cursed to never make port.Therein lay more tales than mere celluloid can do proper justice.Sadly, we have to file TFD with Unicorns, and Loch Ness.

Queen Anne's Revenge The third of our PotC fleet, is, one that is (very artistically ) styled after a real, timbers-and-canvas ship, very famously Captained by the real Edward Teach (aka Blackbeard). Originally a British frigate, named Concord, it was captured by the French, renamed La Concorde de Nantes , before falling into Blackbeard's possession, and being renamed, yet again. "Show me the Car Fax", already!

Now, all the Above is good and well, but what about the here-and-now? Is the Age of Sail *completely* over? Have we, the land-lubbed, missed our chance to gaze upon such grace?Fortunately not.

USCGC Eagle (WIX-327): The United States Coast Guard still maintains the Eagle as a Coast Guard Academy Training vessel , which is the U.S's only active duty square rigger. Sure, she's got a steel hull, and modern accoutrements, but darn it, just *look* at them sails!

USS Constitution. "Old Ironsides" This one is famous for actually *doing* stuff, like real, honest-to-goodness, "Boom, thud, is-that-all-you've-got?" kinda stuff. I can proudly say that I've stood on deck, and belowdecks on this Warrior Queen. If you're ever in the Boston area, make a point to visit her in Charlestown, and learn a few things at the museum. This baby fought real pirates, and she's stillin the water, to this day. True Fact: The USS Constitution is *still* considered on "Active duty" Yes, you read that right, she's still part of the US Navy, and the oldest commissioned ship still floating, and she's undefeated. (Okay, okay, i know. I tend to gush a bit when supporting the "Home team".)

HMS Victory Okay, to be fair, Although Constitution is the oldest still floating, HMS Victory is *The* Grand Dame of Fighting sail. This tough Ol' Gal was fitted with 104 cannon. Yes, you read that right , one hundred and four. She was the Flagship of Lord Nelson, and even though she's been drydocked since 1922, she still retains the title of "Oldest Commissioned Ship" in the world. She's got a full 30 years on the Constitution,and, like her younger 44-54 gun "sister", HMS Victory saw true naval combat, and lived to tell the tale.

Of course, these are mere samplings of Tall Ships that still abound, and I hope that this little diversion can help you bide the time 'till Beta, and give you a more visceral appreciation of the (virtual) beauties we shall have beneath our (virtual) feet. Just because they're "not real" doesn't mean we can't give them all the love we give their physical, (and mythical), counterparts.

So, "Who would win....?" With enough patience for Beta, eventually, *us*.

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